International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Report on First Joint Symposium of the ICTM Study Group Mediterranean Music Studies and the International Musicological Society (Eleventh Symposium of the ICTM Study Group Mediterranean Music Studies) Naples, 21–25 June 2016

The study group’s eleventh symposium, which doubled as its first joint symposium with the International Musicological Society (IMS), took place in Naples, 21–25 June, 2016, on the theme "Musicians in the Mediterranean: Narratives of Movement". It was hosted by the Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella and the Università L'Orientale and it was supported by the International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies (ISMEO). The program committee comprised Ruth Davis (Study Group chair) and Dinko Fabris (president of the IMS) as program co-chairs with Alessandra Ciucci and Salvatore Morra also representing the Study Group. Salvatore Morra and Gabriele Flaminio (project manager for Università L’Orientale) were responsible for the complex local arrangements, generously assisted by Adriano Rossi as president of ISMEO.

The events of the first afternoon and evening took place on the sea front in the spectacular venues of the Universita L’Orientale’s Palazzo Du Mesnil and the Palazzo Donn’Anna. Following the welcoming session and first joint panel, Roberto Fedele and Pierluigi Ciapparelli gave us a guided tour of the Palazzo Donn’Anna where we were treated to a concert of Neapolitan cantatas, performed by the ensemble of the Centro di Musica Antica "Pietà dei Turchini"– Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella,  followed by a sumptuous dinner.

On the final evening of the symposium we made for the cooler heights of the Vomero quarter for a private viewing of Sergio’s Ragni’s Gioacchino Rossini collection in the Casa Museo Sergio Ragni, located in the former seventeenth-century palace Villa Belvedere. The viewing was followed by an informal buffet supper which many of us chose to enjoy in the open air on the balconies and roof terrace. This segued into a recital of Kurdish folksongs and lullabies sung variously in Kurmanji, Sorani and Zaza-Gorani by Sakina Teyna, with Mahan Mirarab on fretless guitar.

As both the eleventh symposium of the ICTM study group and its first joint symposium with the IMS, the event also served as an inspiration and springboard for the founding of an IMS Study Group on Mediterranean Music. The duality of interests was reflected in the program: the papers were divided among four ICTM–IMS joint panels, held in the afternoons of 21-24 June, and eight ICTM panels, held on the mornings of 22-25 June.

The eight ICTM panels were titled “Musicians across the Mediterranean”; “Music and migration in Cremona and its surroundings”; “Hybrid and cosmopolitan sounds in the Mediterranean”; “Music, politics and agency in the contemporary Mediterranean”; “Hidden and displayed musics: tourism, folklore, collections and expositions”; “Complex Identities of the Sacred”; “The local in the Mediterranean”; and “Imagining and remembering al-Andalus”. The presenters, in order of appearance, were Rachel Beckles Willson, Jessica Roda, Dwight Reynolds, Jonathan Shannon, Fulvia Caruso, Maurizio Corda, Monica Serafini, Thea Tiramani; Avra Pieridou Skoutella, Oded Erez, Simona Wasserman, Ed Emery, Eckehard Pistrick, Ioannis Tsioulakis; Cassandre Balosso Bardin, Luisa Del Giudice, Ditlev Rindom, Naomi Cohn-Zentner, Judith Cohen, Tony Langlois, Tamara Turner; Ikbal Hamzaoui, Andrew Pace, Miriam Rovsing-Olsen, Matthew Machin-Autenrieth, Loren Chuse and Laura Jordan.

The joint panels, which consisted of slightly shorter papers to accommodate the larger number of participants, were titled “The musical image of a Mediterranean city”; “The Adriatic coasts and their musical and cultural expression”; “Monody, polyphony and falsobordone: written and oral tradition in the Mediterranean”; and “The eye (and the ear) of travellers: Mediterranean routes”. The joint panelists were (in order of appearance) Cesare Corsi, Gianfranco Salvatore, Annamaria Bonsante, Clara Bejarano Pellicer, Maria Rosa De Luca, Anthony Hart, Simona Frasca, Gianni Ginesi; Vjera Katalinic, Francesco Zimei, Ivano Cavallini, Jakša Primorac, Konstantinos Kardamis, Maja Milosevic; Ignazio Macchiarella, Robert Kendrick, Giuseppe Fiorentino, Giovanni Giuriati, Salvatore Morra, P. Youssef Tannous; Franco Alberto Gallo, Nicoletta Guidobaldi, Daniela Castaldo, Eliana Cabrera, Paola Dessì, Gabriela Currie, and Hicham Chami. In an evening film session, Nicoletta Demetriou introduced a screening of her documentary film “The Cypriot fiddler” (2016). This was preceded by an account of European music in Cyprus by Georgia Petroudi.

The panel sessions were interspersed by a varied program of musical and other events including brief (30-minute) lunchtime lecture recitals and evening concerts. The lunchtime lecture-recitals featured a concert of medieval music performed by Patrizia Bovi (soprano) and Crawford Young (renaissance lute); songs and instrumental music from Anatolia performed by Özlem Dogus Varli and Mahmut Cemal Sari; and a recital tracing the Neapolitan revolution of the cello through works by Francesco Paolo Supriano performed by Guillermo Turina (baroque cello) with Chiara Mallozzi (cello), and Luigi Trivisano (harpsichord). The evening concerts included a recital by Franco Pavan (renaissance lute) and Angela Luglio (soprano) followed by a solo recital on the rarely performed ʻūd ʻarbī (four-stringed Tunisian lute) by Abir Ayadī, and a recital of compositions spanning the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries by the harpist Elizabeth Fontan Binoche.

On the last afternoon, the IMS participants withdrew to hold the founding meeting of the IMS Mediterranean music study group while the ICTM study group held its business meeting. Alessandra Ciucci was elected Study Group vice-chair and Odez Erez was elected Study Group secretary to take over from Cassandre Balosso-Bardin — the Study Group’s first secretary — who retires at the end of 2016. Cassandre was thanked for her dedicated and expert work throughout the past year, including — most crucially — her help in setting up the Study Group webpages on the ICTM website and in creating the long-awaited Study Group mailing list. Possible themes and venues for future symposia were discussed, and there was a consensus that the Study Group should aim if at all possible to hold the next meeting in a North African country. The Centre des Musiques Arabes et Méditerranéennes in Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis, was proposed, and Ikbal Hamzaoui offered to check out the possibilities there and liaise between the Study Group and the CMAM personnel. The two societies then came together for the first joint meeting of the ICTM Study Group Mediterranean Music Studies and the IMS Mediterranean Music Study Group, which effectively served as the wrap-up session for the symposium as a whole. An unexpected highlight of the final session (unannounced in the program) was a conversation with Roberto De Simone, introduced by Alessandro Pagliara, marking the fortieth anniversary of De Simone’s Neapolitan folk opera La Gatta Cenerentola (1976).

In addition to the many familiar faces we were especially glad to welcome newcomers to the Study Group, including colleagues from southern and eastern Mediterranean countries (e.g. Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel) and the wider, trans-Atlantic Mediterranean (Chile), which have previously been under- or even completely unrepresented in our symposia, as well as an encouraging number of colleagues at relatively early stages in their careers. Among the many colleagues who unfortunately couldn’t join us —including some whose names initially appeared in the program—we were especially saddened by the loss of Rob Schultz, who passed away after a short illness a few weeks before the symposium. A minute’s silence was held in his memory in the session in which he was due to appear.

Ruth F. Davis

Alessandra Ciucci

Salvatore Morra